A Father’s Day tradition we have in our family is writing stories and creating our own books. I think we started writing them in 2000, when Tuesday was only 3 years old. Quinn did his first story in 2002. And River did her first story last year. It has been such a fun tradition. I think the best part is getting out all the old ones and rereading them every year!
I use a template that I created in Publisher and type the stories. When you make a template, remember to leave a big margin on the left hand side for binding…if you don’t, some of your text and pictures will get cut off!
Then I print them out on thick stock paper. The children then add their pictures, usually using Sharpie markers. I love the Sharpie markers because they are the brightest and they don’t seem to fade. After all the pictures are completed….we head on over to our local teachers’ supply store, where they have a laminating machine. I get all the pages laminated….then we head on over to our local Kinkos/Federal Express shop and I use their work station to cut the pages all out and get them reordered……then I have them bind them for me. (Why don’t I just have the Kinkos/Fed Ex shop do the laminating? Because they charge about $1.50 per page!! It is much cheaper to go to the local teachers’ supply store..they charge you something like thirty-two cents a yard!)
I love the laminating because it brings the vibrant colors out and it protects the pages…makes them seem more like a real book! I always use a cover page…and then an inside dedication page that says the year.
The kids are always so proud of their stories and pictures! It is a great tradition or gift idea for any occassion!
River’s grandmother is blind, so we are always trying to come up with neat little gifts to make that are appropriate. Whenever River draws a picture for Gram, I go over it with glue or puffy paint. Sometimes she just draws directly with either one. Sometimes she glues buttons, pom poms and other objects onto paper. Today, Gram is in the hospital, so River wanted to do something extra special. We gave it some thought and came up with the idea of a little stuffed animal.
River decided she wanted to make a bunny stuffed animal. So, she drew the design on a piece of paper. Then I cut it out.
Then River picked out some felt and we cut that out together.
Then River picked out some button eyes and helped sew them on! When she realized that she was actually doing it, she got so excited!
River picked out some fringe that she wanted to add as hair and then she helped cut out some ear shapes.
Because we like to get as many senses as possible involved in the project, River thought it would be fun to add some “crinkle” stuff to the inside. So we searched around for something that crinkled and found an old plastic table cloth that I had saved as a drop cloth. We cut it into some small pieces and River stuffed it in.
Then, she closed her eyes to see how the stuffed bunny would “feel” to Gram. She decided that is had lots of great “stuff” to feel…so we called it done! She was so proud of what she had made..and she couldn’t wait to give it to her Gram…and her Gram loved it!
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Quinn wanted to make Christopher something unique for Christmas. I looked online and found a really cool idea. I found a website called Marlies’ Creative Universe. Her site had great directions for making a mini star ornament..which we decided to make into a mini book star ornament. Quinn thought of one of his favorite books that he and Christopher loved reading together. We scanned the cover and the first 14 pages. These we used for the “smaller” pages. Each measured 2 inches high x 3 inches wide. Then we chose green paper for the “larger” pages, which were 2 inches high and 5 inches wide. And red for the”medium” size pages, which were 2 inches high and 4 inches wide. We needed 7 of each of the different sized pages. The website has great directions and templates.
Instead of making a plain cover, we scanned the cover and personalized the back cover. The one thing I would do differently, when I make it again, is to make the cover one piece of paper, not two.
It turned out great and Quinn was so happy! It took a long time and a lot of patience…but he did it almost completely himself…and he was so proud of it! I think we will definitely be making this again….it would make a great gift for any book lover.